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I made a (big) mistake. And now?!

by Alexandra Sousa 3 months ago in Embarrassment
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Did I get fired? Or was scrutinized by my boss or team?

What a day… It started badly early in the morning, to open the eyes 😄

As you may know, I am an Agile Coach. I have been in this position and company for 3 years now. But a few weeks ago, I made my biggest mistake in production… I deleted a JIRA project.

(pause for reaction 😲)

After about 20 “No, no, no, nooooooooo!”, the first thing I think is “How can I solve this problem asap ?”.

I took two paths:

1. Ask someone in the area responsible for the software for help

2. Google it 💪

After the second option indicated that the only way was to replace the backup, I redirected my attention to the first point.

Two things were certain:

1. The backup was restored and we went on with our normal lives;

2. I couldn’t restore the backup or it would take too long and I would create the project and add the various cards manually.

In fact, it turned out to be a mix and got resolved 2 days later. But I bring this situation today because I want to focus on the error aspect. Not in this one in particular, but in all the mistakes that are made daily and that there is still a preconceived idea that we shouldn’t make mistakes.

Mistakes are part of the learning process and the deepening of the knowledge we have.

Let’s take a look at this from two main perspectives:

Individual

Accept that the mistake is part of it and learn to deal with it. Accepting that we all make mistakes and that it is not possible to be perfect and immaculate is the first step in making mistakes become part of our daily lives;

Avoid torturing yourself every time you make a mistake! Yes, it will hurt, and yes it will cost but focus on the resolution because I guarantee you that when it is resolved, two things will happen:

1 — You will take a deep breath again 😅

2 — You will have learned a lot along the way!

In Team

It is essential to allow our teams to see errors as something natural and acceptable. Few things are irreversible mistakes. Even this mistake of mine, which I gave as an example, was not irreversible. And as I am lucky that my supervisor is a born leader, in addition to helping me with the resolution, he told me a pearl that I quote:

In these things of working in a productive environment, there are only two types of people:

1. Those who have already done 💩 in productive;

2. Those who are yet to do so.

And it’s true! Okay, I’m already part of the first group 😄 If you work on a tool or area every day (even if repeated and you already have years and years of experience) it’s normal that we get more “relaxed” and someday, for whatever reason, Murphy’s Law (which basically says, “If anything can go wrong, it will.”) is going to be knocking at the door for sure.

As a leader, you are willing to help but let the person who made the mistake fix it. If we solve the situations that happen, whoever makes the mistake does not learn and will be more likely to repeat it.

Therefore, it helps, calms, relativizes, and allows the resolution to be reached autonomously.

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I usually tell my teams that it’s just who doesn’t make mistakes, who doesn’t do anything. So go without fear, make mistakes, learn, and evolve with the confidence that, at the end of the day, you will be an even better professional 😊

Have a wonderful day,

Alexandra Sousa

Embarrassment

About the author

Alexandra Sousa

Agile Coach, Entrepreneur, Animal Lover, Humanitarian & “Make a World a Better Place” Enthusiast

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